Stories about risk

Munir and Ali needed a goat like Raju

“Mama! Mujhay subha uthana please aath bajay. Baba kay sath mandi jaunga,” Ali pleaded with his mother. (Mom! Please wake me up at eight in the morning. I have to go with dad to the cattle market) She nodded as she tucked him in lovingly. Ali had been looking forward to the Bari Eid since Ramazan. He had been extremely disappointed to find out that the Eid after Ramazan will not involve getting a bakra (goat) and bringing it home. He had insisted though. “Hum le aatay hain na! Hum bakra isi wali Eid pe le aatay!” (We should get it! We should get ...

Read Full Post

Bitcoin, the magic money, and why I chose to risk it for the biscuit

The Bitcoin saga has been one of mad fanfare, terminological jargon, ridiculous price jumps, and scathing criticism from banking establishments. There is a plethora of information available on how Bitcoin works, and the original proof-of-work paper is available to read on the currency’s organisational website. Yet, despite all the countless articles that detail the schematics of the Bitcoin system, it remains mired in controversy, especially of late as it makes the news on a regular basis for its volatility. Let’s take a look at some of the myths surrounding Bitcoin, and attempt to disentangle this nascent cryptocurrency from the confusion that surrounds ...

Read Full Post

Beware: You may be heading into (murderous) marriage

Marriage comes with its own set of doubts and insecurities. You might have heard it on the news, you might have seen it happen with someone you know – there are many stories about failed marriages all around us. Stories about how families have been fooled in the name of this sacred bond and have lost their life’s worth of savings. The increasing statistics about marriages being broken due to infidelity, fraud by the in-laws, husbands being abusive or having prior criminal record, paint a horrible picture of marriages in our country. The divorce rate has reached an alarming level and this ...

Read Full Post

What will happen to the stock market if the PM resigns?

In 2007, I underwent a six-hour-long marathon panel interview at the London office of one of the (then) largest hedge funds in Europe called XYZ Capital*. A senior partner – perhaps a PhD holder – drew the entire map of the Middle East, East Asia and Europe, and tested my knowledge about the current affairs of each country turn by turn. After a gruelling session, the partner remarked, “An investor may have the best of quantitative minds but markets don’t make sense if the political factors don’t make sense.” I engraved it then but have only felt it now. Surviving through the minor speed breakers ...

Read Full Post

You have to risk it to get the biscuit, Team Green!

Another Test match, another humiliating batting performance and another defeat. Forgive me if I am not surprised. It would be a lie if I said that I am at a loss of words when in reality I sort of saw it coming. The only benefit I’ve gained from such disappointing batting is that my vocabulary has improved significantly because now I have to explain just how bad their performance was. This embarrassing show of batting from the Pakistani team is nothing new but, unfortunately, just like our beloved Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), our cricket team has not shown any inclination in identifying ...

Read Full Post

You let me down, my friend

Teenage years are said to be the golden age of a person’s life; when a person feels unchained and independent as if the whole universe lies beneath him. Nothing seems unattainable, boundaries are invisible and risk remains a concept unheard of. It was during my teenage years, that I met you my dear friend. When I got hold of you for the first time it was as if I had found a dear friend. You completed me and I felt like you would never let go of my hand. And you never did, my friend. In times of good and bad, you were always there. But ...

Read Full Post

Save our doctors at Civil Hospital Karachi!

One morning I decided to make a surprise visit to the Civil Hospital Karachi. The motive of my visit was to get an idea of the current security arrangements, so that violence in hospital could be prevented and controlled. Unfortunately, this visit uncovered a set of serious security breaches. •   There was an absence of security personnel on almost all the entrances and exits of the hospital. •   The main gate leading to the entrance of the Emergency Department was being handled by a few unarmed security guards who were merely opening and closing gates. •   The Police chowki (office) was empty and it appeared ...

Read Full Post

No one wants to tour Pakistan

As someone who has watched Pakistan play cricket on numerous occasions overseas, as well as in Karachi, I can tell you the experience is enormously different at home. Overseas, the seats are comfortable, the stadiums in pristine condition, the crowds well-behaved, the food non-threatening and no eyesore security grill to separate the playing area from the spectators. At home, the seats will put your rear to sleep, the biryani is spicy enough to make you wish you brought antacid with you, and the frighteningly energetic crowd is so loud that you can’t speak to the person next to you without the aid ...

Read Full Post

Help! My boss hates me because I’m hot

Dear Miss Informed, I have been working at an advertising agency for six months. They pay well and my colleagues are more or less cheerful, but I’ve been feeling unhappy lately. The reason for this is that my boss is a slave driver. She makes me work much later than I am expected to and never appreciates anything I do. She takes out her personal frustrations on me, sends out emotional e-mails and never seems to be happy with anything I do. Sometimes, I think she just does it because she’s jealous of me; I’m better looking, younger and have more ...

Read Full Post

Ask questions, your doctor isn’t psychic

Miscommunications are part of daily routine.  You order a large Coke and no fries at a restaurant and the waiter brings you extra fries and a regular Fanta.  You ask a classmate for physiology notes and she photocopies the entire term’s anatomy notes and presents them to you the next day. But there’s one place miscommunication can be a serious problem. Having spent time on both sides of the physician-patient fence, I’ve started noticing how doctors often do not explain stuff adequately and patients will not ask enough questions, resulting in huge communication gaps.  In a clinical setting, these gaps ...

Read Full Post